The Khmer Rouge held power in Cambodia for just under 45 months (April 1975-January 1979) and left 1.6–3 million Cambodian civilians dead, who were rendered other as capitalists, intellectuals and persons with Vietnamese minds or ethnic other as Cham and Chinese. Most victims perished through murder, starvation, torture, medical experiments, untreated diseases, forced marches, and exhaustion from forced labor. However, even after 1979, the Khmer Rouge remained active in remote regions of the country; thus, fatalities may be higher than documented.
In January 2017, the USC Shoah Foundation added to the VHA five testimonies of survivors of the Cambodian Genocide. The testimonies were recorded by the USC Shoah Foundation in the United States in 2009, 2011, and 2015. Three are in English and two in Khmer (with English subtitles). All five interviewees witnessed first-hand the Khmer Rouge’s evacuation of the capital city Phnom Penh in April 1975, the forced marches that followed, and forced labor in horrific conditions in the northwest of the country.
Selected Indexing Terms
agricultural forced labor
Angkar (animist force)
attitudes toward aid or relief organizations
attitudes toward Cambodia and/or Cambodians
attitudes toward perpetrators
Battambang (Cambodia : Province)
bereavement-related psychological reactions
Buddhist clergy and monastics
Buddhist religious observances
Cambodia 1953 (October) - 1970 (March)
Cambodia 1970 (March) - 1975 (April)
Cambodia 1975 (April - December 31)
Cambodia 1975 (April) - 1979 (January)
Cambodia 1979 (January) - 1989
Cambodia 1993 (May) - 1997 (July)
Cambodia 1997 (July) - present
Cambodian Coup (1970)
Cambodian forced labor camps
Cambodian Genocide history
Cambodian Genocide testimony sharing willingness
Cambodian Genocide-era photographs (stills)
Cambodian Genocide-related psychological reactions
Cambodian government officials
Cambodian mobile brigades
deportation from Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
Evacuation of Phnom Penh (April 1975)
Fall of Phnom Penh (April 17, 1975)
Forces armées nationales Khmères
Kandal (Cambodia : Province)
Khao-I-Dang (Thailand : Refugee Camp)
Khmer Rouge personnel
Long Beach (California, USA)
loved ones' deaths
loved ones' separations
mass murder awareness
Mekong River (Asia)
migration from Cambodia
migration from Thailand
migration to Thailand
migration to the United States
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
politico-military event awareness
post-Cambodian Genocide reflections
post-conflict family home returns
post-conflict visits home
post-traumatic stress syndrome
pre-Cambodian Genocide family photographs (stills)
refugee camp living conditions
refugee camp working life
S-21 (Phnom Penh, Cambodia : Prison)
tracing loved ones
waterway maintenance forced labor
Becker, Elizabeth. When the War was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge Revolution. New York: PublicAffairs, 1998.
Bergin, Sean. The Khmer Rouge and the Cambodian Genocide. New York: Rosen Pub. Group. 2009.
“Cambodia.” SciencesPo Mass Violence and Resistance - Research Network. Web.
Caswell, Michelle. Archiving the Unspeakable: Silence, Memory, and the Photographic Record in Cambodia. Madison, Wis.: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 2014.
Chan, Sucheng. Survivors: Cambodian Refugees in the United States. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2004.
Chandler, David. Voices from S-21: Terror and History in Pol Pot's Secret Prison. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.
Chandler, David. Brother Number One: A Political Biography of Pol Pot. Revised ed.. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1999.
Chandler, David. The Tragedy of Cambodian History: Politics, War, and Revolution since 1945. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991.
Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam). Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam). n.d. Web.
Etcheson, Craig. After the Killing Fields: Lessons from the Cambodian Genocide. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2005.
Genocide in Cambodia: Documents from the Trial of Pol Pot and Ieng Sary. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000.
Hinton, Alexander. Why Did They Kill?: Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.
Kiernan, Ben. The Pol Pot Regime: Race, Power, and Genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, 1975-79. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996.
LeVine, Peg. Love and Dread in Cambodia: Weddings, Births, and Ritual Harm Under the Khmer Rouge. Singapore: NUS Press, 2010. Print.
Maguire, Peter. Facing Death in Cambodia. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005. Print.
Yimsut, Ronnie; David Chandler; and Daniel Savin. Facing the Khmer Rouge: A Cambodian Journey. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2011.